The US House of Representatives is to introduce a resolution to block the national emergency declaration issued by President Donald Trump to raise funds for a Mexican border wall.
Formally introducing the resolution sets up a vote by the full House, by mid-March or as soon as next week, because of a timeline spelled out by law.
The measure would then move to the Republican-controlled Senate, where there may be enough GOP defections for approval. The law that spells out the rules for emergency declarations seems to require the Senate to address the issue too, but there has never been a congressional effort to block one and some procedural uncertainties remain.
“I write to invite all Members of Congress to cosponsor Congressman Joaquin Castro’s privileged resolution to terminate this emergency declaration,” Pelosi wrote in a letter sent to both Democrats and Republicans on Wednesday night.
She noted that the House will “move swiftly to pass this bill.” “The President’s decision to go outside the bounds of the law to try to get what he failed to achieve in the constitutional legislative process violates the Constitution and must be terminated.”
“We have a solemn responsibility to uphold the Constitution, and defend our system of checks and balances against the President’s assault,” she wrote.
The moderate senator Susan Collins of Maine said Wednesday she would back a resolution blocking the declaration, making her the first Republican to publicly state her support for the effort to thwart the emergency declaration.
Trump has issued and emergency declaration to access billions of dollars beyond what Congress has authorized to start erecting border barriers. Building the wall was the most visible trademark of his presidential campaign.
Congress approved a vast spending bill last week providing nearly $1.4bn to build 55 miles of border barriers in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley while preventing a renewed government shutdown. The step was a rejection of Trump’s demand for $5.7bn to construct more than 200 miles of barriers.